Daily Revolt

May 16, 2007

U.S. Tries to Stem Afghan Opium Trade, Belatedly

It finally dawned on the U.S. government that the poppy crops in Afghanistan were having a devastating effect on the war on the Taliban and terror. It is profits from the crop that fund the Taliban and undermine the central government in Afghanistan since the war lords are tempted by the riches of drug trafficking:
Poppy growing is endemic in the countryside, and Afghanistan now produces 92 percent of the world’s opium. But until recently, American officials acknowledge, fighting drugs was considered a distraction from fighting terrorists.

The State Department and Pentagon repeatedly clashed over drug policy, according to current and former officials who were interviewed.

Pentagon leaders refused to bomb drug laboratories and often balked at helping other agencies and the Afghan government destroy poppy fields, disrupt opium shipments or capture major traffickers, the officials say.

Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and military leaders also played down or dismissed growing signs that drug money was being funneled to the Taliban, the officials say.

Just another example of how this criminally inept White House has dropped the ball. The consequence of failure in this case is the resurgence of the drug abuse crisis in America we saw in the 1970s and 80s.

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